Tuesday, 14 March 2017

King for 1000 days

King Felipe VI of Spain marks the 1000th day of his reign on March 14th 2017
(photo casareal official photo)

King Felipe of Spain has reigned for 1000 days today. It's a minor milestone but in a reign that has seen more clouds than sunshine, one worth marking. The King of Spain reaches his 1000 days in a stronger position than he has known for a while. Felipe VI is looking to the future.

The announcement of the State Visit to the UK, confirmed last week, is being seen as a sparkling opportunity for Felipe, and his wife Letizia, to add a sheen to the Spanish monarchy missing in recent times. When Felipe took the throne, on June 19th 2014, following the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos I, the monarchy was facing some serious issues and an all time low popularity rating. 1000 days on, things are looking up.

The acquittal of Felipe's sister, the Infanta Cristina, following a trial for tax fraud  has taken away one of the big thorns in the side of this new royal rule. While Cristina faced the prospect of prison, royal planning for the future was hard.

Felipe has also seen political instability grip his country after general elections in December 2015 proved inconclusive and almost ten months of negotiations and a fresh set of polls were needed before an administration, led by Mariano Rajoy of the Partido Popular, could be formed. Now, really for the first time since he became king, Felipe has a path ahead clear of major obstacles.

Which means the next 1000 days have a fresh hope about them and also a fresh challenge. Now is the time that Felipe VI of Spain can make his mark. There are big chances lined up - the State Visit to the UK will attract headlines around the world and before that, there are similar visits to Japan and Morocco to come. The chance of new elections is still hanging over Spain but Felipe VI has otherwise lost many of the encumbrances which have affected his rule so far. A new royal chapter is beginning for the man who today has been king for 1000 days.

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